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Aleph or Alef ( אלף) is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet . It has the numerical value  1.

The phonetic value of the letter in Ivrit in IPA notation [⁠ ʔ ⁠] . This is the cracking sound that is present in German , but not written (glottal beat) .

The phonetic value in Yiddish is [⁠ a ⁠] - writtenאַ - or [⁠ o ⁠] (dialektal and also bühnenjiddisch [⁠ ʊ ⁠] , [⁠ U ⁠] ) - written אָ -; in certain positions (especially at the beginning of a word before words beginning with / aj /, / ej /, / i /, / oj /, / u /)אa purely graphic sign without sound value and therefore mute. It is also mute in some Yiddish words of Semitic origin.


The aleph is the first letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets and corresponds to the alif of the Arabic script. It stands for a consonant that the Greeks, when they adapted the Phoenician alphabet to their language, reinterpreted as a sign for the vowel alpha , from which the Latin A emerged. The name of the letter is derived from the stylized representation of a bull's head (Hebrew alef "ox") with two horns. In the course of the development of the font, the letter was rotated and its shape changed. The name was retained.

Comparison of the characters
Protosinaitic Phoenician Hebrew Arabic Greek Latin
Proto-Canaanite letter alp.svg PhoenicianA-01.svg א Aleph أ Alif Α alpha A.


  • אדם Adam "human" ("earthly, earthly man, earthling") related toאדמה adamah: "(red) earth"
  • אברהם Abraham - "father of the multitude"
  • כיתה אלף kita alef - first (school) grade
  • מאלף עד תו me-alef ad taw - from A to Z (literally: from Alef to Taw ; similar: the A and O)
  • אונן Onan - biblical first name
  • אופיר Ophir - geographical name
  • אוריאל Uriel - male first name: "My light is God"

Use in math

In set theory the aleph symbol is used for the cardinal numbers of infinite sets, the aleph function enumerates all infinite cardinals; in particular be infinite widths with referred to, wherein the differently sized features infinities.

Character encoding

Unicode codepoint U + 05D0
HTML & # 1488;
ISO 8859-8 0xe0
TeX / LaTeX \ aleph

Web links

Commons : Aleph  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Danesi, Marcel: The semiotics of Emoji: The rise of visual language in the age of the Internet . London 2017, ISBN 978-1-4742-8199-7 , pp. 9 .